Real Women vs. Fake Women

Women are beautiful, in general. However, we are always picked apart and compared unfairly to other women who have something or look better than us. The result makes us catty towards one another, with big girls hating skinny girls because they are resentful, and skinny girls hating big girls because they’re being hated in return. Then you start hearing things like “real women have curves,” “skinny girls are just fake,” and “if skinny girls just ate more and never worried about getting fat they wouldn’t get hated on.” Bullshit, bullshit, and more bullshit. It’s a neverending cycle where no one wins.

Here is plus-sized model Tara Lynn. Yes, she and many other bigger women are stunning and inspiring. But the reactions from people when they see her and this photo are “what a real woman!” What exactly makes Tara Lynn more real than a skinny woman? I mean, she’s just as human, just as stunning, and just as inspiring as a skinny woman. I love her for her confidence. But when a skinny woman poses the same way or shows any confidence at all, she is seen as a snob, an attention whore, and told to eat a sandwich. Again, a hurtful battle where no one wins.

How are fat women more real than skinny women? It’s really disheartening seeing people thinking this way because they have it in their minds that skinny girls just have it easy, especially if they are pretty on top of that. Growing up with an overweight mother and being skinny my whole life opened my eyes to both sides of this argument and ridicule. My mother has always, always, ALWAYS been big. I saw a photo of her once aged 17 with my dad before they were married, and in the photo it looked as though she was still a size 6. A beautiful size 6. We have the same cheek structure resulting in similar smiles which, even though I resent my mother now for screwing me in my adult life, and I hate my father for what he did to me, that photo first made me realize that those two awful people once knew happiness.

Fast forward to life Texas after my mother blew up bearing me and my sister. I think she was a size 16 or 18 at one point. Kids will find anything to bully or ridicule you about. In this case, it was my fat mom who barely spoke English. Constantly I was laughed at because of her, and it made me angry at her for being fat. I was maybe 8 years old at this point. I didn’t understand then of course that it was something she couldn’t help, being that she was already mildly big before marrying. I remember the sorrow hidden in her eyes when one day out of anger I told her I was embarrased by her because of her weight. I can’t remember or know if she went to cry privately, but I regretted what I said as soon as I said it. A good Catholic girl shouldn’t be dishonoring her parents, and that’s exactly what I had done. I never teased a single person for being fat after that, which I think made me unpopular among the popular kids once middle school came.

Now in middle school, I am made fun of for being skinny. Nevermind my mom anymore because she never came around my school as much as she did in elementary because she found a job once she learned English well enough to work, and my sister started school. So here come the rumors that I’m anorexic, my lunch money gets stolen until I decide to carry it in my pocket, and I get ridiculed for making friends with the less popular or fatter kids. I used to come home after school and search for something to eat that will make me fat. I would cry to my mother about these rumors and all she could tell me was, “they’re just jealous.” I never understood what she meant then until looking back.

Having dealt with this, it’s given me an insight into these real vs. fake arguments. A real woman is not a fat woman and a skinny woman isn’t a fake woman. A real woman is a woman who understands the world around her; she gives her all for the the people she loves and cares for; she is compassionate, free-thinking, and graceful; she is a goddess ready to protect anything that is hers. That is a real woman. Those are things found in all fat, skinny, tall, short, ugly, pretty, stupid, smart women. I understand what it feels like to think you need to change your diet. I understand eating salads and water and doing cardio 5 days a week. I understand how one feels when they weigh themselves naked on a scale each morning with the occasional “Ugh, I ate too much yesterday.” I understand taking a napkin to your burger or pizza to soak up the grease. I understand all of these things completely because I first hand grew up and saw this in my home. So please, stop my hurting my feelings by saying a fat woman is a real woman as opposed to skinny girls who are fake. We are all real and in this together.

7 Comments

  1. Hi, Jeanette. I believe women are beautiful in all sizes, but I think the whole “real vs fake” thing came in to being in reaction to women never being skinny enough for their critics. There are naturally thin women who just don’t think about calories or size. I used to be one of those until I had my two kids. I was 98 pounds and six weeks pregnant when I got married. After I had my second child, I began to battle weight. I didn’t realize it was no longer natural for me to be that thin, and I constantly struggled. My husband would yell at me for letting myself go at 117 pounds. (I wasn’t short–at 5’5, 117 pounds is still pretty darned thin!). And later, a boyfriend told me I was getting fat when I weighed 121. Every day, people would ask me, are you working out? Are you really going to eat that? I was already too thin, but felt like an elephant! Today I still struggle with weight issues, though I have a much more realistic idea of what my weight should be. When everyone around you is telling you you are too fat when you probably could stand a few pounds, resentment starts to come in. Resentment against those fantasy girls on the covers of magazines who we are constantly being compared to. They’re not real. So when you see a beautiful bigger girl who is sexy, there is a sense of relief, a sense of “Ahhh. That’s what a real woman looks like.” Real, as compared to the photoshopped, airbrushed, starved bathing suit models that my husband and others constantly told me I should look more like. Real vs. fake. Not “real” vs. “thin,” But just what it says–“Real” vs. fake.” Fake boobs, liposucked, collegen filled lipped girls who still are photoshopped and airbrushed beyond anything even remotely real on magazine covers. But this is what so many people tell us we should look like. So again, Real vs Fake means just what it says. Nothing more, nothing less.

  2. I love everything in this post except the part where she says that her Mom was already mildly big before marrying….she was a size 6! I don’t want to live in a world where 6 is mildly ‘big’!!

  3. We are all beautiful and real and we are all in this together. I’m wondering, though, how a size 6 is considered mildly big? Not in my world!

  4. Beverly Kumar · ·

    While I appreciate your honesty that comes from your personal experience, I have to disagree that a size 6 is mildly big. With that being said, the average woman in the US is size 14-18. I wish you could drive home your ending message a bit more…this would make it a stronger post. It’s is time we all drop the “real” before descriptions….just as “real Mom.” Thank you.

  5. I SEE NOTHING BUT A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE ABOVE PICTURE

  6. It’s cultural, this weight thing. When I was a little girl, I was the right weight for my height. I was in no way overweight, approaching overweight, or had any question of a weight issue. However, I wasn’t “chinese” thin. “Chinese” think is being south of zero, but natural. Not anorexic, just culturally “thin”.

    When I was a little girl I had a white friend. We were born on the same day and in the same year. I don’t know if we were born within the same hour. lol. Still, we did everything together and talked about everything.

    I, slowly, became conscious of weight because of our talks. She would say things like, “she felt fat today or she needed to run more”. I wondered what she was talking about since we were about the same size, though she may have had me by one. I realized one day, while playing at her home, her parents were saying these things to her. Connie was wafer thin, but for them wafer thin wasn’t good enough for a 9 year old.

  7. Journalists and models (bless them) are the cause of most of this problem. I grew up in small town Montana in the 70’s. I was grossly over weight and those around me took great pride in telling me how awful of a person I was because I was fat! They didn’t see who I was, only what I looked like. That is the crux of this. I don’t care if you are skinny as a rail or as over weight as a blimp, if you treat others with respect and love then you will find you will be treated the same way.

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